Georgia (3-1, 2-0 SEC) worked out in helmets and shorts to hammer out the finishing touches on its strategy for the showdown "Between the Hedges" at Sanford Stadium against LSU (4-0, 2-0 SEC) this Saturday. Kickoff is slated for 3:35 p.m. ET.
"We're close to being ready," Georgia head coach Mark Richt said prior Thursday's practice. "A little bit more mental preparation here. You don't hit today but you do have to move and get in position to handle your responsibilities, so there's still some physical nature to today but it's mostly mental. Hopefully, we'll get good rest tomorrow and be ready to go Saturday."
Saturday's game will be one of three games nationally that will feature two ranked teams. The Bulldogs are ranked No. 14 in the USA Today poll and No. 18 by the AP this week while LSU checks in at No. 4 in both polls. Georgia is 1-1 versus top 10 teams at home under Richt having defeated 10th-ranked Tennessee 18-13 in 2002 but falling to eighth-ranked Alabama 41-30 last year. LSU will represent the highest-ranked team to play "Between the Hedges" since 1995 when third-ranked Florida came to campus due to renovations to the Gator Bowl. Saturday’s contest will mark the eighth time that Georgia and LSU have met with both teams ranked in the AP Top 25.
Georgia has won the last three meetings against LSU, although the Tigers lead the all-time series 14-12-1 and the series is tied 6-6 in Athens. In their last encounter in 2008, the Bulldogs outgunned the Tigers 52-38 in Baton Rouge. In 2005, the Bulldogs captured the 2005 SEC title with a 34-14 win over the Tigers in Atlanta. The last time the two teams squared off on Georgia’s home field was in 2004 when a national audience on CBS watched the Bulldogs explode for a 45-16 victory. LSU has not won at Sanford Stadium since 1987, when the Tigers came out on top 26-23.
Yesterday, Richt had stated the Bulldogs held their "best Wednesday" practice of the year, and today he addressed whether good practices translate into successful game play.
"There have been many times that you think they had an awesome practice and played poorly," Richt said. "And just the opposite, you'd say we've got no chance and then you win big. You don't know, but I've had weeks were everybody practiced good and played good too, or practiced bad and played bad. You really just can't predict it."
Richt also provided a further update on a couple of Bulldog defensive backs when asked about their status for the LSU game. He noted that sophomore Brandon Boykin was "better" after feeling ill and that junior Vance Cuff was "free to play" as well.